Yaalon and War Crimes

On January 3 the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by former Israeli chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon with advice about fighting terrorism humanely. I submitted this letter [which was not published]

It is outrageous that former Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon dares to write about "minimizing civilian casualties" during fights against terrorism. On his watch the Israeli army made Gaza into a virtual free fire zone. His soldiers murdered American Rachel Corrie by driving over her with a bulldozer. They shot dead Tom Hurndall who was a British photographer trying to shepherd some Palestinian children away from danger. They shot dead cameraman James Miller as he walked to an Israeli army post with flashlights focused on the letters TV on his helmet.

Yaalon praises Israel's "Operation Defensive Shield". During this 2002 attack on the West Bank the Israeli army savaged the refugee camp of Jenin and committed what Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said were war crimes. People were buried under rubble and rescuers were kept deliberately away. In cities like Ramallah scores of civilian facilites were wantonly trashed, some with human excrement.

Yaalon holds up Israeli conduct after the kilings of the athletes Munich Olympics as a model referring to it as targeted killing and punishment. Three days after Munich Israeli planes bombed refugee camps in Lebanan killing 200 people. Did that satisfy his "moral imperative"? Oh, and in your credits for the general you forgot to mention that suit was filed against him in Britain for involvement in dropping a one ton bomb on an apartment house that resulted in the death of a Hamas militant and 14 others, mostly children. Another suit is pending in the U.S. for the massacre in Qaana, Lebanon that tore apart 100 people.

Stanley Heller